Mad at Washington? Make Your First Mark Here at Home

One fact that folks of all political stripes can agree on is that the election of President Donald Trump has sparked a tsunami of civic engagement.Unprecedented numbers of Americans are showing up at congressional town halls, contacting the offices of their state and federal representatives, and, protest signs in hand, taking it to the streets.While concerns about where Washington is headed are the fuel stoking the most political passion these days, wouldn't it be great if some of that energy could make its way to the races unfolding across North Texas?You can make the biggest difference right here in your own backyard.Voters are notorious for sitting local races out, pleading ignorance or apathy. Yet these elections are the ones that determine citizens' most immediate representation. And ignoring them allows small constituencies to commandeer the agenda for the place you call home.So as candidates start their engines for the May election, we encourage each of you to get smart on the issues and then get involved. Your participation -- whether a simple educated vote or full-throated volunteer activities -- is the best first way to become politically active.The Dallas City Council races, in particular, offer some great opportunities -- formidable competitors and demonstrably different points of view.Only in three Council districts -- those represented by Adam McGough, Sandy Greyson and Jennifer Staubach Gates -- are incumbents unopposed. Elsewhere you'll find two, and in some cases as many as six, choices. (See accompanying box.)Frustrated that the next bond vote was postponed until November? Troubled that the city still hasn't figured out a long-term fix for Fair Park? Impatient for a seamless hike-and-bike loop connecting Dallas' favorite playgrounds?Be sure your questions are heard in the upcoming significant, and sometimes entertaining, municipal campaign season. Also up for grabs May 6 are two contested Dallas ISD seats. Plus decisions in as many as 200 other races across North Texas.Your faithful editorial board is already hard at work to assure that solid information exists to help you. We've put together a raft of questions for candidates about how they would run their city or school district. As municipalities finalize their ballots, we'll get those questionnaires into the hands of each office-seeker for what we hope will be well-thought-out answers.By the time early voting starts April 24, we expect to have those Q&As available in our searchable Voter Guide on dallasnews.com. From there, you can ferret out all kinds of helpful candidate information -- from depth of knowledge on the issues to what distinguishes him or her from opponents.The Voter Guide is a must read, but it's only one of several ways to judge the candidates. Check out their websites and watch how they handle themselves at community events. Then decide where best to put your passion into action right here at home.Races at a glanceApril 6: Final day to register to vote in the May election. Go to votetexas.gov for application details.April 24: Early voting begins.May 6: Election day for municipal and school district races.Contested Dallas City Council seats:District 1Scott Griggs (incumbent)Stephen WinnDistrict 2Adam Medrano (incumbent)Brian OstranderDistrict 3Casey Thomas (incumbent)Joe TaveSandra Crenshaw (pending certification)District 4Carolyn King Arnold (incumbent)Dwaine CarawayDistrict 5Rickey Callahan (incumbent)Dominique Torres-JeterDistrict 6Monica Alonzo (incumbent)Omar NarvaezGilbert CerdaTony CarrilloLinus SpillerAlex DickeyDistrict 7Tiffinni Young (incumbent)Kevin FelderTammy JohnstonAdam BazalduaJames TurknettMarvin CrenshawDistrict 8Erik Wilson (incumbent)Gail TerrellEric WilliamsTennell AtkinsMoctezuma Gonzalez​District 9Mark Clayton (incumbent)Arthur L. Adams, Jr. District 11Lee Kleinman (incumbent)Mary "Candy" EvansDistrict 14Philip Kingston (incumbent)Matthew WoodKim WelchContested Dallas ISD seatsDistrict 2Dustin Marshall (incumbent) Richard YoungLori KirkpatrickDistrict 6Joyce Foreman (incumbent)Phelesha Hamilton  Continue reading...

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